Campaign News
August 09, 2012

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell sees job fair as a "conduit" for employers, job seekers

Martin Swant   ·  The Birmingham News   ·  Link to Article
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell sees job fair as a "conduit" for employers, job seekers

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- By mid-afternoon today, more than 4,000 people had attended at job fair at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex organized by the office of U.S Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala. And although early morning crowds frustrated many of the job seekers in lines wrapping around the building, those inside were able to meet with many of the more than 100 employers represented.

In an interview at the event, Sewell said her office spent several months organizing the job fair in order to be "a conduit" for employers and prospective employees. She said many of the attendees she spoke with had positive feedback about the event.

"I think it's really important to use our office as a platform to bring together employers and job seekers to really address this national crisis of unemployment," Sewell said. "I think you can see by the overwhelming response we've received that there are so many Alabamians that want to work. The unemployment is not due to people not wanting to work, but just a lack of opportunity."

Terri Sewell Job Fair draws thousands to the BJCC in Birmingham
EnlargeOne of two huge crowds bunch up at the entrance to the BJCC. Thousands of Alabama residents seeking jobs converged on the BJCC for a job fair sponsored by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell Wednesday August 8, 2012. So many job seekers showed up that the line wrapped halfway around the BJCC complex by 9:45. The doors opened shortly after 10 a.m. and the lines continued to grow after the doors were opened. Over 100 businesses manned boothes at the event, all of which have job openings. Most of the crowd stood in hot humid conditions in the slow moving line. Some became frustrated and left. The job fair hours are 10 am - 3 pm Wednesday. (The Birmingham News/Joe Songer).Job Fair at the BJCC draws huge crowd gallery (13 photos)

Sewell said the success of the day's job fair shows that it could turn into annual event. She also would like to see more public-private partnerships in Birmingham and elsewhere in Alabama to help lower the state's unemployment rate.

"I think that it's important that we provide really good information and opportunity for folks seeking employment," she said. "The main criteria for employers to be here is that they had to be hiring, so all of the employers here are hiring and I think that with the turnout we had here they should get all sorts of wonderful resumes."

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